WICHITA, Kan The Wichita Fire Department on Tuesday announced equipment and personal improvements designed to improve service, enhance firefighter safety and maximize new and existing resources.
Fire Chief Ronald Blackwell said 10 new fire apparatus, nine new Pierce fire engines and a new ladder truck have been placed in-service at the City’s 22 fire stations. The new fire trucks will be dispersed throughout fire stations to replace an aging fleet. The department utilizes a replacement plan based on age, mileage and repair cost when determining how often replacement apparatus will be purchased, he added.
On Monday, 17 Fire Recruits launched their new careers at the department’s Training Center. A federal SAFER grant - Staffing Apparatus For Emergency Response - was used to hire additional firefighters with preference for military veterans. The grant allows the department to fill six firefighter vacancies with federal assistance. The new firefighters are expected to complete training by fall.
WFD officials also thanked those who contributed to the department’s request to acquire smoke alarms and batteries for distribution and installation in homes across the City. The department worked with area partners to acquire and install smoke alarms. So far this year, the department has installed smoke alarms in more than 200 homes. In 2013, Wichita experienced 11 fatalities in residential house fires.
For more information regarding smoke alarms and fire safety, please call (316) 268-4441,